The Downside to Wheelchairs

27 July 2016

I love my wheelchair. Wilma is the love of my life and she makes my life so much easier. We do pretty much everything together and I don't know what I'd do without her. I've travelled, I got a degree, I get to go on days out. I couldn't have done any of this without my wheelchair. I have gained so much freedom by getting wheels. However, there are some downsides and I thought I'd share them with you today.

(Mermaid Sticker from Dorkface)

1. Butts - Depending which way you look at it this could be a plus but you are constantly at ass height. Getting lost in a sea of butts is very disorientating. I feel like I need a flag on my head so my family can find me.  

2. Cigarettes/handbags - Have to constantly keep an eye out for smokers not paying attention or scary ladies with huge bags. Definitely don't want one of these to the face. I don't know what some women carry around but I'm pretty sure it's bricks.

3. Bad surfaces & kerbs - You will be catapulted out of your chair at least once. I've lost count. Pot holes, kerbs, drains, the list is endless of surfaces that want to see you fall. Hit one at any sort of speed and you're a goner. Pavements also always seem to slope one way meaning you get one super tired arm.

4. Doors - You'll probably get stuck in a door. There are some ridiculously heavy doors out there. Also people may think they're helping & yank the door open for you which would be great were you not holding on to it at the time. Goodbye shoulder. You will also probably run over the toes of some lovely person who is trying to be helpful but makes it harder by standing in the doorway.  Narrow doors will also crush your fingers and you kinda need those to push. Rock those knuckle grazes

5. Public Transport - I have met some adorable & lovely bus drivers who have been nothing but helpful (Shout out to the guy in oxford who changed the bus route so I wouldn't have to push up a big hill) but I have also met those who I assume pop children's balloons and rip heads off of dolls. They hate getting the ramps down. They ignore you when you ask to get off at a stop and they make travelling very stressful. Also people hate giving up their seats so you can go in the designated spots. You may also be classed as the devil by women with pushchairs, however you will also meet some of the kindest people who will do anything possible to help, like scream at the bus driver for you (Thanks to those guys in London who made it possible for me to get off at my stop)

6. Shops - Why do shops have to have such narrow aisles? I've been in a few shops where the assistants have apologised & just followed me around moving racks & picking up stuff I knock off and they were really lovely about it but it can make shopping difficult. I also cause traffic jams if I'm browsing. Also I'd just like to ask why checkouts are so damn high. I can barely reach some of them stood up. 

7. Squeaky chairs - My chair always used to creak and makes horrific noises in the silent parts of lectures. I also had a cushion that sounded like a fart every time you moved so that was fun.

8. The jokes - There is only so many times I can hear "do you have a drivers licence for that?" and "Don't drink and drive" before I want to injure someone. If you must at least come up with something original. Please no more speed jokes. I cant take it

9. Old people - Some old people hate you. Apparently we have not earned the right to wheels by getting to an old enough age (someone actually said that to me). Clearly some are jealous because we look cooler and then there are the ones who think we are obviously faking because we are the crappy youth of today. However, I have become besties with some of the coolest old people ever (Shoutout to my bae Dorothy). Bonding over awesome walking sticks and bad wheelchair pushers. 

10. Rain - Unless you want to wear a beautiful poncho, waterproof sleeping bag or bin bag dress (I have done this) the rain is horrific. If you have an umbrella it runs onto your legs. Trying to push is difficult, stopping is even harder. Your hands get cold. The rain pools under your butt if its heavy and nobody likes a soggy bottom.

11. Sweaty Ass - The slightest increase in temperature and all you will hear is me and my brother bitching about our sweaty asses. Also sweaty backs. It is impossible to sit in a wheelchair in the heat and not get sweaty backs/butts. You get such awesome looks though if you announce it loudly like a lady.

12. Tiny Disabled toilets with mirrors that are too high. How am I supposed to touch up my lippy? Disabled people still want to look fabulous. One of the disabled toilets in my local hospital isn't big enough to get your chair in and shut the door. Genius

13. Look Naked - Whenever I wear shorts I always look naked from the waist down. My tops are always longer. I totally rock it. I promise I am wearing shorts though

Obviously the positives by far outweigh the negatives. Without my chair I wouldn't be able to do much at all and the negatives are hardly the end of the world. Although a soggy butt and a crushed hand can push me over the edge sometimes. And that time that I got mud on my new top from my wheels made me sulk for about a week.

What are the downsides for you?

Beth...x


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